Sunday, October 16, 2016

What would you do for a couple of bucks?

The answer to this question is that Laurel Creek does a good deal for the deer, and countless other animals who live on the golf course.  While providing the best playing conditions for our members will always remain the top priority, with 237 acres of property (including 38 acres of wetlands), we also never forget that over the past 25 years, this land has become the home to thousands of other inhabitants.

Two bucks pop out of the wetlands in front of #8 tee.

Golf courses are often characterized as harming the environment.  However, a quick look back at what Laurel Creek's land was previously used for, seems to show that we now have a clear environmental  improvement in land use.

Prior to the course being built, a good portion of Laurel Creek was a mine.  The property yielded both gravel, which was used for constructing road beds, as well as clay, used for lining landfills.  As you can see in the picture below, this was hardly an inviting place for flora and fauna:

The scale of the mining operation is somewhat difficult to describe.  Here is a picture of the clay cell where the driving range now exists:

If you're wondering what the two tiny objects are, here you go:

Those "tiny" objects are actually large 4" pumps, used to remove water from the clay cell.  The higher pump was accessed from above, using a 20' ladder to get to the shelf.

In contrast to this dark and desolate landscape, today the property is teeming with animal life.  Here's a brief list of what we see on a regular basis around the course:

  • Snapping, painted and box turtle
  • Bullfrog
  • Garter snake
  • Northern water snake
  • Bass
  • Catfish
  • Sunny
  • Kingfisher
  • Duck
  • Heron 
  • Bald eagle
  • Harrier
  • Sharp-shinned hawk
  • Red-tailed hawk
  • Osprey
  • Egret
  • Great horned owl
  • Turkey
  • Deer
  • Muscrat
  • Mink
  • Beaver
  • Raccoon
  • Opossum
  • Moles, voles, and mice
  • Chipmunk
  • Fox
Great Blue Heron with Bass for breakfast.

Many of these animals call Laurel Creek home.  By doing so, they are telling the tale of how golf and the environment can truly work together to improve an area's biological diversity.

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